Julia and Friends


Yesterday Julia gave me the task of doing all her Barbies' hair.  Julia chose their outfits (which basically means she matched up each doll with the outfit she came with originally) and I dressed and coiffed them all.


It's funny how things change.  Julia takes care of her Barbies now, which is much different from her treatment of them in the past.

For one thing, if they had clothes on in the box, Julia took the clothes off pretty soon after we'd removed all the plastic and rubbery tie thingies.  Her Barbies spent most of their time shivering with cold somewhere under Julia's bed or trapped beneath a pile of other toys.

They also suffered various forms of abuse.  See the left-most Barbie?  Wearing the purple bodysuit?  She's actually one of two Fairy Barbies Julia has (you can see the other one seated way over on the right).  Well, you can't see it in the above picture, but her hands are mangled beyond repair.  Julia chewed on them.  I don't know why.  Neither does Julia.  But for a time, Julia didn't want Purple Fairy Barbie because her hands were mangled.  I sensed an opportunity there to promote love and understanding for ALL people (and Barbies) no matter how they looked or how they might be limited physically, so I told Julia she WOULD play with Purple Fairy Barbie no matter how her hands looked, because otherwise Purple Fairy Barbie would be very, very sad.  It's not HER (Purple Fairy Barbie) fault her hands are all mangled, IS IT?

And so Julia learned that you cannot treat people (and Barbies) meanly just because someone has chewed on their hands.

Then, if you look over on the right, you can't help but notice that Ballerina Barbie has a very bright pink complexion.  Overexertion?  Bad (and strange) sunburn?  Chemical burn?  Embarrassment?  No.  Pink Highlighter.  Julia's early experimentation with applying make-up, I'm guessing.

And in the back, there, in between Belle Barbie and Dorothy Barbie?  I'm not sure which Disney princess she's supposed to be, if she's even part of that lineage, but anyway, the Barbie in the fuschia and orange gown has what appear to be some sort of brightly colored tribal markings on her face.  Another victim of Julia's make-up-artist-gone-awry moments.

But that was then.  Now, her Barbies usually go about their day with clothes on.  Sometimes the clothes don't quite fit right – some Barbies are a bit more buxom than others, and the fitted dresses of their smaller-cupped sisters won't close in the back – but they always have something on somehow. 

And lately it's also been all about the hair.  So yesterday we scrounged up all sorts of elastics and scrunchies and whatever else you call them, and coordinated them all appropriately with each Barbie's ensemble.

Julia lined them all up along the couch when I'd finished braiding or ponytailing or whatever, and then I suggested we take a picture.  Because…it just had to be done.  So Julia sat at one end of the couch and I arranged her dolls all around, and I took the picture.

And that was that.

Oh, and one more thing – Purple Fairy Barbie?  She no longer has her wings.  Yeah.  "Somehow"…they broke off.  Daddy might be able to fix them.  But maybe not.  Still, we don't discriminate against wingless Fairy Barbies, either. 

Not in this house. 

12 thoughts on “Julia and Friends

  1. how lovely. I had a doll called Barbara when I was little, a rubber composite sort of finish, that went rather tanned in the sunlight. I drew patterns all over her in biro… never did come off, but I still loved her.

    As you say, all kinds of people need to be loved. Even strangely tattooed browny-yellow people.

    And isn’t Julia’s hair getting long again! Will you grow it again or will it get shortened up for the summer?

  2. I…. I have a confession to make.

    When I was little I used to chew on my Barbie’s feet. I don’t know why. I just did. Maybe because it felt good to chew on something because my teeth might’ve been a little crowded by that point. I don’t really know. That’s the best explanation I can give. (I’d chew on frozen washcloths too a lot as a kid)

    I’m not sure what the deal was with naked Barbie’s either. I did that too. Mostly becuase my mom didn’t want to go out and buy a ton of clothes for the Barbies. I think that with them being “naked” it allowed them to be anything I wanted them to be without the restrictions their clothes would suggest? How can Barbie lead a squad of her G.I. Joe pals (had those too) to hunt down Cobra in a princess gown?

    So all my Barbie’s were naked and had mangled feet… plus my She-Ra doll that sits on my desk here at work. I didn’t really care though (if it really bothered me I’d put shoes on them) But for some reason, my Skeletor doll didn’t have any mangled bits – I guess because he was my favorite.

  3. Glad to see I’m not the only Barbie finger chewer in existence. I think I liked the way they got all flat & long, as well as how they felt in my teeth. I also did their feet, but that didn’t have the same effect. And mine were mostly naked because they were just too hard to dress.
    I had a Sindi (that is not a typo) doll at one point that I loved – more realistically modeled, and so much easier to dress, so she was my favorite for girly play in her house & outfits.

  4. @Apartment kitchen…I LOL at the vision of a *naked* Barbie leading a troop of GI Joes!

    Jayne, I think it’s great that you found a way to turn the mangled and otherwise abused Barbies into a lesson about kindness and tolerance.

    At least Julia isn’t doing makeup experimentation on: a) herself, b) younger siblings or c) pets. 😉

  5. Julia wants her hair to be long again. I think shes gotten over the I wish I was a boy phase that led her to pick up scissors in the first place last summer. We just got back, actually, from picking out a dress and shoes (upcoming father/daughter dance at school, and Easter), complete with sparkley hair accessories and nail polish. Shes way happier being girly!

  6. Hahahahah! Good to know Julia has a kindred spirit in doll-extremity chewing. I think part of the reason her Barbies were nude for so long was because it was way easier to take their clothes off than to put them back on, AND, theres that independent streak, too, and therefore if SHE couldnt get their clothes on them, then NO ONE could. Just guessing. Im having a second childhood myself, I think. A far girlier one, too, as Im getting the urge to attempt to make the Barbie gang some other clothes. Well see.

  7. I vaguely remember Sindi…didnt have her, though. Ido remember having TheSunshine Family – mother, father and baby. They were sort of hippy dolls, as I remember. I didnt chew on them, though. I went straight to my own fingernails.

  8. Trust me, shes done makeup experimentation on herself. There are pictures, too, somewhere in the bowels of this blog. Ill try to find some. She hasnt done this in a while, though. Thank goodness.

  9. ah yes…chewing the barbie hands. I would also chew their feet, and especially their shoes!! (I still chew on ink pens & straws). My little brother used to break our barbies heads off and then my dad would try to glue them back on but their necks would be really short and the heads wouldn’t turn. Sad to say, I discriminated against the short-necked barbies.

  10. Hey, ya’ll could start a club, and you Barbie Hand Nibblers need jackets. My daughter was a BHN too. She has a really beautiful red headed Barbie that has one normal hand and one elongated mangled hand, but she was still the belle of all the Barbie Balls. I will need to send Julia a picture of MY Barbies who reside on a shelf about 6 feet off the ground to stay away from the little BHNs that may come to visit.

  11. Before my younger brother was born I spent a lot of time with my dad doing “guy” stuff. So until I got a little older there wasn’t really such a thing as gender roles.

    Barbie was usually the general, and Skeletor would ride on the backs of my My Little Pony dolls. Him and Applejack were BFF.

    I liked my She-Ra doll better than Barbie for a few reasons.
    1. She was a little more appropriately proportioned. (She has muscular legs)
    2. Her leotard was painted on
    3. She had a weird little jewel thing just above her navel (it’s STILL there after all these years) Who doesn’t love a gal who can kick a bad guy’s butt, but also sport a little bling?

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